This week both me and this blog turned one-year older. As how I count my years since the age of 25, I am now only 17 years away from menopause. After 30, realism is the new optimism. But forget me. Lady and Pups is one-year old!!! Gosh! How did that happen and look what we’ve accomplished? 1100+ likes on Facebook!?? Practically legendary really… 187 followers on Weibo?!! China has NEVER seen such crowds… OH, stop it… But the most amazing of all is the birthday gift this DARLING city was carefully hiding from me all this time, a WHOPPING BONIFIED BLUE-SKY DAY all ribboned up for me to wake up to!?! Nothing but VISIBLE HORIZON and BREATHABLE AIR!? Aww… Beijing, you shouldn’t have! It is MY day but I still want you to be the intolerable filthy asshole that you are…
Well now. Where’s the cake? …. Umm see the thing is, I decided that as well as many other things like say… compliments, engagement rings and bikini-waxes, a birthday cake just isn’t something people should give themselves. So I am going to treat this post like any other posts BUT after saying all that, it just isn’t polite to not open a gift-box when the giver is practically begging you to… so I did. I. went. Outside. Dooo~do~dooo (insert some really nice trumpet music here), people! This is RARE as nowadays I don’t even have to leave my toilet to connect with the outside world! The sun was so BRIGHT it hurt my eyes… OMG is that my own SHADOW on the ground?! Really Beijing, this is TOO MUCH I can’t accept this!
I was humming cheerfully (really) while riding my bike to the nearest farmer’s market and bought myself some birthday spring asparagus… No, pfff that’s not my life… (but it would’ve made such a better story), actually the asparagus arrived in a bruised up cardboard box a few days ago and has been sitting sadly in my fridge in a crowded jar. And the thing I went out to get had nothing to do with spring. It was pitted black olives to go into my asparagus stir-fry which was inspired by a trip to Hangzhou a couple years ago, but I will not go into detail because I don’t want to ruin my own party. Let’s just say the only thing I want to remember from that trip was the asparagus… I devoured it standing by the kitchen counter and left nothing for Jason to come home to. It was my day. I get to.
- 500 g of asparagus
- 4 tbsp (50 g) of pitted black olives
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp of sichuan peppercorn
- 12 whole Asian dried chili (break it open if you want more heat)
- 1/4 ~ 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp of oil for frying
Peel the fibrous skin off the ends of the asparagus and trim approx 1/2″ off the tough ends. Cut it into segments.
In a mortar or food processor, finely puree the pitted black olives and garlic into a paste. Wrap the sichuan peppercorn in paper towel and pound it with a knife or meat-pounder to break it into a coarse ground.
Heat up a wok or a deep skillet over high-heat. Add 3 tbsp of oil and the dried chili. Toast the chili until the color turns slightly darker, then add the sichuan peppercorn and saute until fragrant, just about 10 sec. Add the asparagus and give it a few stir to coat it in the hot oil. Add the black olive and garlic paste, salt accordingly (depends on how salty your black olives are) and ground black pepper. Saute until the asparagus is cooked but still green.